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mini CPR, Was Re: <nettime> nettime as idea
Gita Hashemi on Mon, 12 Jun 2006 19:04:07 +0200 (CEST)


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mini CPR, Was Re: <nettime> nettime as idea


At 10:39 AM +0200 6/12/06, David Garcia wrote:
>I would argue that any movement for radical change should be carried
>out in close collaboration with the moderators and should take a very
>different approach and tone from some of the peremptory notifications
>we have seen on this thread. And above all they should seek to
>work imaginatively with the fact that nettime has found a powerful
>way of addressing our most pressing issue; sustainability without
>institutionalisation.

i agree that the tone of *some* of the exchanges [please, let's not 
homogenize] has been more self-serving than visionary and imaginative 
- on this thread and others prompted by the NNA - and that the 
pronunciations of the  "death of nettime" too have been 
self-perpetuating in the way that the "the death of the author" 
ultimately has been for its author!  respectfully, i would add that 
the moderators - present and past - have not been outside this 
dynamic but have directly contributed to it.  i'd also contend that 
nettime itself is currently understood as an institution - otherwise, 
why question whether NNA had much to do with nettime rather than 
acknowledge the model of sustainability it put forth through engaging 
others outside the nettime proper? and why such struggle over 
nettime's history? - and that institutionalization is not necessarily 
bad - neither is it entirely avoidable; show me a tactical 
intervention grouping and/or a public space that is not already 
institutionalized in one way or another - so long as the institution 
is open to conflict, re-definition, re-organization and rejuvenation 
[by which i mean reflective of a refreshed demographic, landscape, 
vision].

in all recent exchanges presumably triggered by the CPR gathering 
[*I'd like to now propose a change of identity from NNA to CPR to 
signal that some of the people who attended the gathering including 
some of the organizers, presenters and attendees came from other 
milieus*], we have been focusing too much on the internal dynamics 
and rivalries of nettime (however we might define that interiority), 
but haven't given nearly as much air-time to the substance of 
discussions that took place, most of which were less packaged and 
more performative and dialogic than could be easily forwarded to the 
list in written text as an essay.  this too was a rewarding aspect of 
the gathering that directly points to an inherent limitation of lists 
and the necessity for more real-space encounters where written 
communication isn't the only modus operandi.

talking about sustainability, many of the presenters proposed or 
illustrated diverse models for sustaining critical practice through 
local and tactical economies (e.g. ilesansfil.org and koumbit.org), 
collaboration across disciplinary and geographic boundaries (e.g. 
ckut.ca and memefest.org), and practice/action-oriented organizing 
(e.g. act-mtl, viral knitting collective and Magnetic Identity 
Liberation Front).  to me, these pointed to a qualitative move away 
from imagining the internet as a permanent address - prime 
intellectual real estate of the 80s and 90s - and toward seeing it as 
a tool of communication and organization - without as much utopian 
overtures that also were the dominant discourse of the previous 
moments.

outside the presentations, one of the most interesting conversations 
i had (that went on over the course of two days and a few inevitable 
and chance encounters) was with roberta and alessandra about 
precarity movement and their work ("action") that they are planning 
for toronto.  (see Alessandra Renzi, 11 Jun 2006, Subject: <nettime> 
Fwd: [RK] No struggle against the void. Report from Barcelona.)  it's 
interesting to observe that vocal nettimers have paid so little 
attention, at least on the list, to the "new, immanently flexible yet 
radical social subject - the precariat" (Kernow Craig, 6 Oct 2004, 
Subject: <nettime> Precarity and n/european Identity) since it was 
brought up on the list (19 posts in total since 2004, most of them 
one-offs), thus clearly exhibiting an institutional reticence (for 
example, see Keith Hart, 19 May 2006, Subject: Re: <nettime> Mona 
Cholet/ le Monde Diplolmatique: France's precarious graduate) to 
respond meaningfully to calls coming from a "younger" generation of 
intellectuals and critical practitioners whose ambitions are not 
entirely defined by their academic orientation and status but are 
neither anti-intellectual nor anti-academic (is anybody else sick of 
how simplistically these charges have been deployed and implied 
recently?)

i agree with david garcia that sustainability is a pressing issue, 
but i'm not entirely sure about the nature of whatever it is we are 
sustaining.  i repeat myself:  there has been too much emphasis on 
personal(ized) histories and dynamics (mostly issued from a tiny, 
tiny minority of nettime subscribers) and not enough on the substance 
of what we might call critical (net) culture.  at the very least, CPR 
(and the follow-up list exchanges) opened a fissure in seemingly 
monolithic nettime culture and exposed some of the underlying 
conflicts.  this is a productive moment.  it'll be interesting to see 
how it gets used.

be well.

gita
-- 

-> -> -> -> -> -> -> -> -> -> -> -> -> -> -> ->

It is not at all our job to renovate ideological
institutions on the basis of the existing social order
by means of innovations. Instead our innovations
must force them to surrender that basis.
So: For innovations, against renovation!
[Bertolt Brecht, 1932]

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